The Best magic movies of all time

We often publish best of lists on this site, but this one is different — this one is more special to me. Ever since I was a little child, I’ve always been fascinated with magic and illusions. After seeing David Copperfield‘s television specials as a kid I was gifted a magic set produced by Fisher Price (which was awesome by the way) and became obsessed with the art form. While I wouldn’t consider myself a serious magician, I do perform a few magic tricks every once in a while for family and friends.

And what initially pulled me into film geekdom is not what you might expect: the old movie magic specials that used to play on television. Those TV shows would show how Hollywood created illusions using, for the most part, practical effects, make-up and miniatures. Not that I didn’t watch movies like every other child, but it was the art of making the impossible possible that is responsible for sucking me deep into the world of cinema.

So come with me as I count down my favorite movies involving magicians in the best magic movies of all time.

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bowie

David Bowie couldn’t have asked for a grander entrance in Christopher Nolan‘s finest film, The Prestige. Walking through a field of electricity, Bowie’s Nikola Tesla greets Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), conducts and produces electricity with his body, and then offers the magician a meal. Even though the real Tesla, a famous germaphobe, probably wouldn’t have shaken Angier’s hand, it’s still a wonderful exchange between the two characters.

Below, Christopher Nolan remembers David Bowie and the time they spent together.

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remembering david bowie

It is 2004 and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars has just convinced a depressed, confused and impossibly lonely high school student to not take his own life. It is 2015 and “Heroes” blasts through the speakers as the same man, now older and happier and glad to be alive, joins the love of his life on the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife.

The soundtrack to the decade between these two events in my life is defined by David Bowie, the most remarkable performer of the 20th century and an icon who cannot be summed with any kind of ease. He was a musician and an actor, an artist and an entertainer, a sinner and a saint, otherworldly but knowable. By listening to his music and watching him on screen, I couldn’t help but feel like I knew him. Like so many others, I felt I could see through his mystique and this alien, this seemingly mystical presence, was the friend I needed. I listened to him and couldn’t help but feel like he was listening back.

David Bowie has passed away at the age of 69, leaving behind a couple dozen incredible albums, enough amazing stories to fill a few thick books, and a surprising film career that was just as malleable and unpredictable as his discography. There’s no way of knowing how many lives he saved, but I can count at least one. The least I can do in return is pay tribute to his contributions to the world of film, of which there are more than you may realize.

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Christopher Nolan Bat symbol

For as many fans as Christopher Nolan has, he has plenty of detractors as well. Who knew some were so closely tied into him, though. In a new interview Christopher Priest, who wrote the novel The Prestige which Nolan adapted, had lots to say about the director and his movies. First of all, he does like The Prestige as a movie but admits the two only met when Nolan finished the film. Since though though, Priest thinks Nolan has gone downhill, going so far as to call his Dark Knight Trilogy “boring and pretentious.” And that’s just part of it. Read more of Christopher Priest’s thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films below. Read More »

How Long is Interstellar?

The running time for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has been released by Warner Bros, and it looks to be the longest film Christopher Nolan has directed to date. How long is Interstellar? Find out after the jump alongside a comparison of Nolan’s previous film lengths.
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The Dark Knight Rises is a mess of a film. If The Dark Knight was filled to the brim with weighty ideas, then The Dark Knight Rises‘ cup overfloweth. Director Christopher Nolan, whose previous films have frequently dealt with the darkness of human nature, was not content with creating a light and fun summer actioner. Instead, he has packed his trilogy-concluding film so full of ideas, plot points, characters, emotional arcs, and set pieces that even with a 2 hour 45 minute runtime, none of them has any room to breathe.

But Nolan still knows how to bring the goods. His visual ambition and scope have grown exponentially over the years, and with about an hour’s worth of IMAX-native footage backed by a massive budget, he has an impressive canvas on which to paint his picture. There are sequences in this film that have a mind-boggling scale rarely attempted before. The result is a astonishing spectacle that manages to wow, despite its deep, deep flaws.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

VOTD: ‘the films of [Christopher Nolan]’

From the earliest installments of his “[the films of]” project, I’ve noticed /Film commenters wondering if and when Kees van Dijkhuizen would get around to spotlighting Christopher Nolan. The British director inspires fervent devotion from movie geeks as few other filmmakers do, thanks to his wildly ambitious imagination, his masterful storytelling, and his eye for cool beauty, and van Dijkhuizen notes that he’s received “hundreds, literally hundreds of requests” for a video showcasing Nolan’s unique style.

Now, for the eleventh installment of his yearlong, twelve-part montage series, van Dijkhuizen has finally released “[the films of] Christopher Nolan,” with a sleek stylishness that serves fitting tribute to the Dark Knight director. Watch the video after the jump.

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nolan_fridge

With Inception, The Prestige and each of his Batman films, Christopher Nolan has firmly established himself as one of the rare filmmakers working today who can not only produce complex, character-driven entertainment on the studio’s dime, but can command an audience while doing it.

Women viewers, though, would be forgiven for dismissing themselves from that audience, for reasons that likely hadn’t even occurred to Nolan’s male fanbase. Read More »

How The Dark Knight Went IMAX

I’ve said it before, and ’ll say it again – You haven’t seen The Dark Knight, unless you’ve seen it in IMAX. OVer 20 minutes of the film was shot with 70mm IMAX cameras, and the result is a cinematic experience like you’ve never seen before. But how did this all come together?

“It was always Chris [Nolan]’s idea, he’s wanted to shoot on IMAX for years,” producer Emma Thomas told us at The Dark Knight junket. “I mean a long long time, has been talking about doing this and then this, when we were talking about where to go with the sequel to Batman Begins and he really wanted to expand the world and make the film feel really huge and it just seemed like the right, finally we had the right project.”

Part of the preparation included a couple test shots on The Prestige, explained Emma Thomas: “We actually, on The Prestige shot, did a couple of shots with the IMAX camera just so that we could get a sense of what the issues were going to be

Nolan originally planned to shoot five of the scenes in IMAX but he kept increasing the use of the cameras through out the production.
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